Engineering group DCD Wind Towers is on track to complete the construction of its R300-million wind tower manufacturing facility in the Coega industrial development zone (IDZ), in the Eastern Cape, by February 3, 2014.
The 23 000 m2 factory will have the capacity to produce 110 wind towers a year, with the intention to increase production to 200 wind towers a year.
The wind towers will be manufactured for various original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that are part of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).
Wind tower sizes will range from 120 m in length and nearly 5 m in diameter, with individual sections weighing up to 80 t.
Manufacturing will include processes such as subarc welding, safety and quality con- trols, and the installation of internal compon-ents such as lifts and ladders. Once a tower is manufactured, it is stored on site before being collected and transported by OEMs.
DCD Wind Towers already has fixed contracts for the manufacturing of wind towers with wind energy company Vestas, German wind turbine maker Nordex and global engineering company Siemens.
DCD Wind Towers GM Gerrit Viviers says the factory will operate five days a week, and Saturdays and Sundays will be used for contingencies. The factory has been designed using a U-shape layout, which reduces handling and saves production time.
DCD Wind Towers engineering and contracts manager Gary Noeth adds that technology from Belgium has been incorpor-ated into some of the equipment that is being installed at the factory.
“We hope to be a world-class supplier and to be competitive in the global market. If the REIPPPP comes to an end, we will pursue other ventures and use our expertise to make a difference in employment in the Eastern Cape,” he says.